Friday Sermon: Buhari: The Parable of Job

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By Babatunde Jose

Job or prophet Ayub (PBOH) was one of the descendants of the Prophet Ibrahim and a nephew of Jacob or Prophet Ya’qub. He was sent to reform the people who lived in the desert situated in the north eastern corner of Palestine. As usual with all the Prophets very few people believed in him in the beginning but gradually the number of his followers began to increase.

Job was a good and upright man with firm faith in Allah. He possessed vast farms, enormous wealth, many cattle and valuable property but he was a very humble man. He was very patient: He suffered from a number of calamities but did not utter a single word of complaint. One day his big farm was attacked by the thieves. They killed many of his servants and carried away forcibly all his cattle. After some time the roof of the house fell down and many members of his family were crushed. He was shocked but he held fast to his faith in Allah. Job was inflicted with severe illness for so long, that his patience with his illness became famous. People would say, “This requires the patience of Job,” using him as an example of a patient person.

The hallmark of Job’s belief was that to him, possessions and children were the gifts from Allah. If He had taken His things, it was useless to lament over their loss. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh (Job 1:21). His friends attributed his calamities to his sins: Sins which they could not point to. They ridiculed and looked down upon him. At a point, they all deserted him with the exception of his faithful wife, Rahima. But she too later grew tired of him in the long run and prayed for his death. She cursed her husband for his unshaking steadfastness and fidelity to Allah. At last when Job was in an extremely pathetic condition he prayed to God thus:

“Truly adversity has afflicted me and You are Most Merciful of all who show mercy.” (Quran 21:83)

Allah accepted his prayer. The Holy Quran affirms:

“Then We heard his prayer and removed that adversity from which he suffered, and We gave him his household and the like thereof along with them, a mercy from Our store and remembrance for the worshippers.” (Quran 21:84)

His example illustrates that those who remain patient under the stress of all circumstances, are never deprived of high rewards. It is true that Allah said he will test us with ‘something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and health; even with our wives and children. May Allah not test us with that which we cannot bear: Amen (See Quran 2:155-157)

Job was thankful to God for all these endowments upon him. He called the people to worship God only. Job, who lived to 98 years,  ordered his people to embrace good acts and forbade them from committing sinful acts: Just as Buhari has been calling on his people to mend their ways and eschew corruption; which seems to have eaten into the fabrics of this society: From the flinching tramp to the beggar on the road side, to the woman who is a gold digger who marries for money, to the office clerk who collects a toll before doing his job, to the police man who erects a road block to extort unsuspecting commuters, to the custom and immigration officers who device a separate custom duty post as against the government revenue post, to the political office holder who abuse his office to amass untold wealth in a commonwealth of wretched people, to the judicial officer who abuse his office to subvert the justice system and all  other members of the ungodly citizenry who aid and abet crime and corruption in the land.

It is axiomatic to compare the afflictions of Job and the reactions of his adversaries to that of Muhammadu Buhari. Nothing had been left unsaid by his adversaries including the rumour that he had died, but was being kept in custody by a ‘cabal’. Buhari’s adversaries not only nurse huge grudges against his war against corruption; but they foster it, fertilize it, cultivate it and watches it grow until it dominate their lives as thoroughly as an untreated cancer! His return from the ‘dead’ has exacerbated their problem and placed them in quandary. Those who promised to commit suicide if he returns alive have since eaten their words and are singing a new song.

Unfortunately, man forget that illness and afflictions do not necessarily lead to death. A man who is certified 100% healthy could sleep and not wake up; yet a man could be on his sick bed for 20 years and still live to the time appointed by Allah. The Yoruba will say ‘Iku oto, arun oto’, meaning, ‘sickness and death are two different things; so let it be with Buhari. Never rejoice on another man’s illness or afflictions. It could happen to anyone. What has happened is a very big lesson to us all. And may God forgive the ‘evil mouthed’ who death-wished Buhari. Like the Prophet Ayub, Allah could restore to him all that he lost. Allah bestows on man what He pleases.

May Allah be pleased with this Nation and restore all that we have lost; Amen.

Barka Juma’at and a happy weekend.

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